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Thread: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

  1. #1

    Question Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    I have a question for you if you sell your prints or purchase prints that artists have up for sale.

    Do you feel like the visual difference between fiber paper and resin-coated paper is enough to justify the additional cost of fiber paper? Fiber paper costs more, and you have to invest more time to ensure you develop and wash it properly.

    I have two prints of the same scene sitting in front of me. I made one on Ilford fiber glossy paper and the other on Ilford MG glossy RC paper. I am thinking long and hard. I can't tell if I'm imagining any differences I see between the RC paper and the fiber paper. I like the fiber a little more.

    RC paper's wash process makes my printing routine in this cramped space less of a chore. It's also cheaper, and I don't need a press machine to flatten it. I like the feel of the fiber paper in my hand a lot more, but I plan to frame my prints.

    What do you all think?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    If I hang up a picture, it's because I can connect with what the picture is of. All the rest is just details.
    I print on fiber paper because I enjoy printing on fiber paper. If I wanted to save time, I'd print digitally.
    My 2-cents anyway (how come 'puters don't have the cent sign?)
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  3. #3
    Nicholas O. Lindan
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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    I used to sell prints via galleries and hangings. It was all fiber. Yes, it is a bit of a pain but I figure if someone is shelling out good money for the product the product should be as high quality as I can make it, without going overboard.

    The issue is defining 'overboard.'

    In my book if an RC print sells for little money as a result of no frame, regular ole' mat board & spray adhesive mounting then it isn't overboard or underboard - it's made to a price.

    I think the answer hinges on whether the premium price for fiber is something a customer will pay for.

    I have some 30 YO framed RC prints hanging on my walls and all of them have bronzed to various extents. I live in the 'burbs and air quality is good - much better than when Cleveland still had steel mills. I don't know if current Ilford RC papers have the same problem. Loose RC prints from the same time that are stored in flat files look fine.

    This is an issue that has been well debated, with no definitive outcome to the debate. I guess the answer is 'it is up to you.'
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
    f-Stop Timers & Enlarging meters http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    I like both as I practice with RC

    Every print is NOT Fine ART
    Tin Can

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    Over the decades of making B&W prints have developed an absolute dis-like for RC paper. They look like artificial RC plastic pix.

    Fiber base B&W paper usually comes in gloss or matt, of these two the gloss is preferred and has been that way to this day.


    Bernice

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    24 years ago my instructor insisted on hot mount Fiber Prints, I made a lot

    They do look like new

    but I never sell any ART

    RC is very fast to check many other variables
    Tin Can

  7. #7

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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    If you are making prints NOT for sale -- yourself, gifts, etc. -- do what you like.

    I prefer the whites in RC.

    If you are worried about the silver stability of RC ("bronzing") -- which is not only an RC issue -- make sure you fix the print well, and consider a post-wash, silver-stabilization step, such as selenium toning, Sistan, etc.

    If you are making prints FOR sale, fiber is the way to go because there are SOME photo snobs out there that want "the best" for their money -- not that they have a clue about photography, or could tell the difference in a comparison test.

    If you are paying for a Rolex, you want a real Rolex -- even though it's no better at telling time than a Timex.

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    RC quick print yes, dry down is easier to deal with for RC paper. RC paper is often lower cost than high quality fiber base paper.

    Dry down (fiber paper prints gain density as they dry) must be accounted for in the print making process when making prints on fiber base paper. If toning is done post-print process, more print tweaking might be needed to account for what toning does to the print.


    Bernice

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    I think RC in black and white applications will always be perceived as the unwanted step-child. I only used RC for quickie commercial applications headed to the printing press. You can't decently drymount them, or present them well except in small sizes. But for casual sales like sidewalk fairs etc, it's your own rules : whatever works, works. In any kind of formal gallery, expect noses to still be turned up.

  10. #10

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    Re: Is fiber paper worth the additional cost for selling prints compared to rc paper?

    printing on fiber paper, and your archival matts n efforts and a frame, are all selling points that justify your price.

    i dont particularly like rc papers. they just dont feel right to me....


    thats my two cents and im stickng to my story.

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